Last-ditch talks between Burundi’s government and opposition aimed at resolving a major political crisis over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial re-election bid appear to be headed for failure, sources close to the negotiations said. The closed-door talks, mediated by regional power Uganda, began earlier in the day but quickly descended into an acrimonious exchange with no sign of any consensus on how to end months of turmoil in the central African nation.
Presidential elections are due to take place in the impoverished country on Tuesday, and the opposition looks poised to boycott the polls altogether — leaving Nkurunziza headed for certain victory but the country violently divided.
The crisis began in April when Nkurunziza announced his intention to stand for a third consecutive five-year term, despite a constitutional two-term limit, sparking months of street protests and a failed coup in mid-May.
Opposition groups say another term would also violate a peace deal that paved the way to end a dozen years of civil war in 2006.